Sussex are in a class of their own

Author:
Malcolm Macfarlane

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Congratulations to the all conquering Sussex side who have been crowned as 2010/11 County Championships  Junior Premier Division Champions. They have won the title with a round to spare and their games record of 58-2 tells its own story. They made it six wins out of six as they hammered Middlesex 9-1. Helshan Weerasinghe, Da Shuai Zhang, Mark Scutts and Yolanda King were all undefeated whilst Lois Peake won once. Sushmita Limbu was Middlesex’s winner when she beat Lois Peake 12-10, 13-11, 5-11, 11-9. Da Shuai Zhang was pushed by Ping Ho but he pulled through 11-6, 9-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7 whilst Mark Scutts had to pull out all the stops to get the better of Ryan Maynard 9-11, 12-10, 11-2, 8-11, 12-10.

Essex , Cleveland and Middlesex are tied on nine points and Essex edged out neighbours Hertfordshire 6-4. Bradley Tuttle caused Essex the most trouble. He beat both Luca Mariano 11-8, 11-5, 9-11,11-9 and Jared Patel 11-4, 14-12, 5-11,10-12, 11-8. Evie Collier held Essex together. She scored two convincing 3-0 wins over Annabelle Gibson and Nicola Walsh whilst Luke Walsh ended the match on a positive note from Hertfordshire’s perspective. He beat Alex Holland 4-11, 11-4, 11-8, 10-12, 11-9

Cleveland were workmanlike 7-3 winners over Kent. Luke Savill beat Shannon Walker in four ends (8-11, 17-15, 11-5, 11-7) and Emma Tovey did well to take a game off England no. two Junior Girl Karina Lefevre before missing out 3-11, 9-11, 14-12, 5-11.

Yorkshire were 7-3 winners over Hampshire. The Yorkshire boys – Reece Lo and Michael Fraser were both undefeated. Hampshire’s Josh Green  pulled through in the closest game of the match beating James Foster 4-11, 11-7, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7.

In the Senior Premier Division both of the leading sides were held to draws – Derbyshire by Yorkshire and Middlesex by Sussex. As such the destination of the title could go all the way to the wire as both leading sides have 10 points. Middlesex have to face Cleveland in round seven whereas Derbyshire will play Berkshire. Sussex recovered from trailing 1-4 to draw with Middlesex. Tin-Tin Ho beat Rosemary Rainton 6-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9 but she didn’t fare so well against Sarah Hilditch. She missed out 13-11, 6-11, 5-11 6-11. Mark Scutts, another up-and-coming Sussex player taking his chance in the first team scored an excellent 11-9, 6-11, 11-13, 11-5, 11-6 victory over Igor Morais whilst Middlesex’s Daniel Basterfield excelled. He beat Craig Bryant 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9 and he eventually sealed his side’s point by beating Mark Scutts 6-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-6 in the last game. Neil Charles had got Middlesex off to a great start, beating Ritchie Venner 12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 15-13.

Derbyshire came close to taking both points against Yorkshire, whose brave performance hasn’t prevented them from being relegated. Yorkshire won three of the four five-enders. Roman Doryn beat David Arrowsmith 7-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-4, 11-8 whilst Simon Noutch defeated Sam Perry 4-11, 11-7, 11-5, 13-15, 11-7 and Richard Lightowler defeated David Arrowsmith 7-11, 11-9, 11-6, 4-11,11-8.

Cleveland beat Devon 7-3. It is relegation for Devon but they went down fighting. Mike Hugh scored a fine win over England no. 62 Andy Wilson 6-11, 8-11, 11-2, 11-9, 12-10 in the last game whilst Toby Matacott also went down battling against Andy Wilson. He only missed out 11-13, 11-9, 11-13, 5-11, 15-13. Paul Drinkhall won his two singles, albeit he did drop his first game of the weekend. Richard Marshall took the first game before Paul pulled through 9-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-8. Karen Shepherd was pushed hard by Lisa Radford before she eased home 13-11, 13-11, 13-11.

Essex are safe from relegation. They beat Berkshire 6-4 – and it was again their no. one player Emran Hussain who called the shots. Emran beat David Barr 11-2, 11-6, 11-13, 12-10 and with the match poised at 4-3 in Essex’s favour he recovered from trailing 2-0 to beat Richard Andrews 6-11, 6-11, 11-7,11-7, 11-4. Berskshire’s decision to include the two Cadet Girls – Megan Knowles and Maria Tsaptsinos last Season should be applauded.  This year they are proving to be highly competitive at this level and Maria Tsaptsinos beat the experienced Lucy Wang 11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-5.

A report from round seven will follow later in the week.

Steve Kerns

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